Growing list of worldwide events include rallies, relays, tournaments, films, viewing parties, photo shoots, and more
Pride House International (PHI) today announced that almost 30 communities around the world would be hosting a Remote Pride House. A Pride House is a place for LGBT athletes, fans and friends to meet to enjoy international sporting events. Given the rising homophobia in Russia and the state ban on a Pride House in Sochi, PHI, a coalition of LGBT sport and human rights groups, determined that Pride House events would be the best way for LGBT people and allies to show their solidarity with Russian LGBT people and for equality in sport. Many Pride House events will take place beginning on the day of opening ceremony of the Olympics, on 7 February. Lou Englefield, Pride House International coordinator, noted that one event has already taken place:
“We are happy that the Wellington LGBT fair, Out in the Square, last weekend dedicated an event to the issues we hope to see highlighted in the various Pride House events: equality in sport and society, sport free from discrimination, the fight against the antigay laws in Russia and elsewhere, and the pleasure of sharing the joys and excitement of sport in the LGBT and ally community.”
Les Johnson is promoting remote Pride Houses in the US, where a third of the currently announced events are scheduled.
“We’re pleased that the partners of the LGBT Sports Coalition have taken up the call, in particular GO! Athletes and Campus Pride, and local groups like Team DC or Team San Francisco.”
In addition to the hosts of future Pride Houses in Glasgow (2014 Commonwealth Games), Brazil (2014 FIFA World Cup), and Toronto (2015 Pan Am Games), among the groups hosting Remote Pride Houses are the host committees of the next Gay Games in Cleveland (August 2014) and the next World Outgames in Miami (2017).
“Whatever the nature of your organization, there’s still time to plan an event, or to place an existing event under the banner of Remote Pride Houses.”
Groups hosting a Pride House event are asked to let PHI know of their plans by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org that their event can be put on the calendar. Groups are encouraged to include the Remote Pride House logo in their communication so as to enhance the visibility of what is becoming a truly worldwide movement of solidarity. Dean Nelson, founder of the Whistler Pride House at the 2010 Olympics, spoke of his hope that many past Olympic host cities will see Remote Pride Houses:
“We know of plans for events in Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Munich, Paris, and just yesterday learned of several Pride House events planned for the Sydney Mardi Gras. For Vancouver, in addition to our mission to Sochi, there will be Remote Pride Houses in both Vancouver and Whistler, following our presence at WinterPride.”
Nelson observed that the options for a Remote Pride House include events as simple as a viewing party, a sports event dedicated to solidarity with Sochi, or a photo shoot for the Same-Sex Hand-Holding Initiative (holdhandsinsochi.tumblr.com). The current list, along with a map, and soon with a calendar of events, can be found here.